Film Screening at the DMA: Ghosts of Lost Futures on May 22

Ghosts of Lost Futures video stillIs a spectre haunting the archive? Do the films collected there proclaim a history that is no longer or a future that is not yet here? Is there something to reclaim in the bits of visual history that have been rescued in the archive? Have you felt the horizon closing before your eyes, the promise of the future you’ve been waiting for becoming a perpetual, timeless present? Cultural theorist Mark Fisher describes a tendency in contemporary culture he refers to as “hauntological” that refuses to give up on a lost future that no longer seems possible. “This refusal gives the melancholia a political dimension, because it amounts to a failure to accommodate to the closed horizons of capitalist realism.”

In partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection and the SMU Libraries will present Ghosts of Lost Futures, a screening of new, commissioned videos from 10 artists using footage held in the WFAA News Film archive. The screening will be held in person at the DMA’s Horchow Auditorium on Saturday May 22nd at 3pm. This screening is Free, but for safety, it will have limited capacity and requires RSVP via the DMA’s website here: https://dma.org/programs/event/film-screening-ghosts-lost-futures

This program, Ghosts of Lost Futures, features new video works by 10 artists commissioned by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. Each artist was given access to the same cache of footage from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection shot in Dallas in 1970, the year of the archive’s founding. The program was intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the archive, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, the program was not completed until the spring of 2021. The artists were given complete freedom in how they reinterpreted the footage and its historical context. The resulting works are profound meditations on mourning, melancholy, disaster, and various reinterpretations of the events of 2020 and 2021 through images of Dallas’s past.

Artists in this program:

Amber Bemak (Dallas, TX)
Marwa Benhalim (Cairo, Egypt)
Melanie Clemmons (Dallas, TX)
Curt Heiner (Denver, CO)
Zak Loyd (Dallas, TX)
Lisa Mccarty (Dallas, TX)
Sean Miller (Dallas, TX)
Angelo Madsen Minax (Brooklyn, NY / Burlington, VT)
Liz Rodda (Austin, TX)
Tramaine Townsend (Dallas, TX)

Program curated by Michael A. Morris

Commissioned by the SMU Libraries and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection
SMU Libraries Staff Advisors: Jeremy Spracklen, Scott Martin, Jolene De Verges, Beverly Mitchell

In 1970 the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection was founded at Southern Methodist University and was then known as the Southwest Film/Video Archives. Currently part of the SMU Libraries, it is home to many important collections of films and videos from the region, including the WFAA Newsfilm Collection.

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